How To Get Rid Of Shin Splits

By Alexis Wolfer

Shin splints are, unfortunately and painfully, fairly common among both beginning and seasoned runners alike.

The Cause: Over-straining, Over-training, Over-wearing!

The most common cause of that searing soreness along your shinbone while running is overtraining (by logging too many miles) and over-straining your legs (both by not resting enough and by running on hard or uneven surfaces). The second most common cause, though, is your shoes.

How To Get Rid Of Shin Splints

The Solution: Rest Up, Get Stronger, Increase Flexibility, and Buy New Kicks!

At the first sign of discomfort, take a few days off from running (you can still be active, just stick with low-impact workouts like swimming or cycling). To reduce inflammation and help with pain, you can also take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (such as Advil). It is also recommended that you ice your shins for about 10 minutes at a time (especially after exercising). When, after a few days off, you return to running, do so slowly and carefully, and stick to softer running surfaces.

How To Prevent Shin Splints

To prevent future strain, replace your sneakers every 300-500 miles and strengthen and stretch those lower-legs of yours with these simple exercises:

1. Sit in a chair with your right leg extended in front of you and slowly flex your toes back towards you as far as you can. Then point your toes forward as far as you can. Repeat 10 times with each foot. (Optional: add an ankle weight)

2. Staying seated, with both knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet flat on the ground. Keeping your right heel on the ground, flex your right forefoot toward your shin and trace the letter “J” in the air with the ball of your foot and toes. Repeat 10 times with each foot.

3. Stand on a step (facing up-stairs) with the balls of your feet on the step and your heels hanging over the edge behind you. Slowly raise and lower your heels as far as you can. Repeat 10 times.

Note: If your pain persists, you might have a condition that requires a doctor’s care.

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